Please note: all credit goes to NyctoDarkMatter!
A quick glance guide at how dangerous the ghosts you’re dealing with are and why, and my personal recommendations for dealing with them, especially the more dangerous ones.
This guide in its entirety is meant to serve one ultimate purpose: To tell you which ghosts you can scream their name and make mad, and which ghosts you should leave to rest as soon as you can. Certain ghosts pose much more of a threat than others in this game, especially on Professional difficulty. Each ghost will be getting a rating of 1-10 based on their Danger Level, and is sorted in that order. These statements assume you are on Professional difficulty, however certain comments will account for specific maps and difficulties. (In the event of a tie, I sorted the ghosts based on my experience/frequency with them, and therefore consider one to be ever so slightly more dangerous.)
If any of my information in my guide is inaccurate, please let me know and I’ll fix it! I do ask that you have sources to back up your information, not including the Phasmophobia wiki as that is outdated. Additionally, my experience comes from the BETA BRANCH of Phasmophobia and may be slightly different than what others have experienced.
Disclaimer: All ghosts are dangerous in some way, and can sometimes be more aggressive for no real reason. I have had Spirits on Amateur that hunt shockingly early, and Revenants that never hunt the entire time even with someone at zero sanity. Just because these behaviors are what they normally do does not mean there won’t be exceptions. Welcome to the world of ghosts, they’re unpredictable and terrifying.
The True Hunters
The most dangerous category of ghosts, true hunter ghosts attack very often and are generally the most likely to kill you when encountered. They do all have weaknesses, but some are much more pronounced than others. Be prepared when finding out it is one of these, as by the time you have your sanity is likely to be within kill percentage (if they even respect that).
The Revenant – 9/10
If you’ve got a Revenant, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that if you can run faster than your friends, it will likely kill them first. The bad news is that someone is almost always going to die when a Revenant hunts, especially if you’re in an open area. Revenants are incredibly fast when hunting and, depending on other factors such as map and room, it may be near impossible to hide from it in time. If you see the Revenant during a hunt past the first few seconds, don’t bother running; it won’t save you, especially on Professional.
Additionally, some sources claim that a Revenant can attack regardless of sanity levels, meaning that from the moment you enter the house, to the moment you leave, you are in danger if the ghost is a Revenant. Making matters worse, identifying a Revenant will often come down to Spirit vs Revenant, which is difficult until it starts hunting as Spirit Box can be unreliable with shy Spirits. EMF Level 5 is also unreliable and as the two ghosts share the other evidence types, I’ve been in this situation more than I’d like to think about. (Mine were mostly Revenants, go figure.)
The ONLY way to counter a hunting Revenant is to hide and pray it doesn’t enter where you are. Hiding slows the Revenant, but only if you are actually obscured. Because their AI seems to prefer their favorite spots even when hunting, this means you need to get far away from its spawn and hide somewhere it will hopefully never see you. If it sees you, it will increase its speed dramatically, and at that point, hiding won’t save you because it’s already bee-lining for your location. Revenants are the fastest hunters in the game when they see you, so the only option to deal with a Revenant is to make sure it never sees you. The Revenant, in my opinion, earns the title of most dangerous ghost in the game, because once it sees you, you’re already dead.
The Demon – 9/10
Demons are highly aggressive and hunt at relatively high sanity levels. At lower sanity levels, Demons will hunt incredibly often and like to manifest themselves for fake-outs constantly as well, keeping you on your toes. Demons are one of the most active ghosts in all departments, but the fact remains that the Demon is here to kill you, not to mess with you. The Demon believes in the “quantity over quality” approach when it comes to hunts, which can result in an entire team wipe on large maps for the unlucky team. (Note that this guide is about Professional difficulty; a Demon is considerably stronger when other factors can already drain your sanity, and on Amateur Demons are actually rather nonviolent for a long time.)
We can’t talk about a Demon without talking about its listed weakness: the Ouija Board. A Demon will not drain your sanity if you ask it a question on the Ouija Board and get a successful response. That said, if you already know it is a Demon, it is my professional opinion that one should never use an Ouija Board if you already know it is a Demon. At that point, you already have the answers you need, and a Demon can still drain your sanity if it chooses to cancel your question; if it does so, it will likely drop your sanity enough that it can hunt. And trust me, if a Demon can hunt, it will.
So then, a Demon’s true weakness is skill and preparation. Sanity Pills are often a must for dealing with a Demon, as the Demon has no passive way to drain your sanity (at least, in-game). Combining pills with keeping the lights on wherever you go (while still managing power properly) will hopefully keep your sanity above the Demon’s threshold. If the Demon begins to hunt and you have Sanity Pills still available, it is a must to leave the building and take them before returning. With a Demon, the risk is not worth the reward.
The Banshee – 8/10
Banshees are one of the most interesting and hard-to-beat ghost types in the game, while still having clear and concise weaknesses that work to great effect. A Banshee can theoretically hunt twenty seconds after the front door is unlocked, even if everyone is in the light at all times. Additionally, Banshees can find their target very quickly and will often spawn near their target, even if they are on the other side of the building. On large maps, a Banshee can make finding the Ghost Room much harder than actually gathering the evidence.
The exact way a Banshee works is simple: It has an ability that it can randomly use at any time, except while it is hunting. Once it uses that ability, it will navigate to its chosen player. Nothing stops this; it ignores line of sight and essentially just goes straight to them. Around 20 seconds after using this ability, it will begin a hunt. This ability is canceled if their chosen player is not in the building. It is unknown if this player is chosen randomly, or if it is based on Sanity, ghost anger, or other factors. My own experiences tell me it is random, as it seems to target me despite me not angering it, but I have no true evidence to back up this claim.
In a four player lobby, a Banshee means you have a one-in-four chance of the Banshee completely ignoring you, which is the only reason it is an 8 and not a 10. For the player the Banshee has chosen: All you can do is pray it doesn’t find you; in the case of a large map like the High School, run from it at sprint speed down a straight hallway so it can’t bend to catch you. If the players figure out who the Banshee is hunting, it can be trivialized by having that player move to the truck, as the Banshee cannot change targets after it has picked someone. As far as I know, this prevents it from hunting completely.
The Wraith – 8/10
Wraiths are easy to mistake and easy to underestimate, but don’t be fooled; a Wraith is a serious problem for the player. Wraiths ignore walls and doors, they almost never leave footprints (though they can still make footstep sounds), and they can teleport onto players randomly and emit an EMF signal which can mislead the players. During hunts, they do not see doors (including locker doors), meaning in houses with lots of small rooms, finding a hiding place can be tricky. They also have toxic reactions to Salt, which will end their hunt but permanently increase their activity.
Because they can teleport onto players and can travel through walls, they will often mislead you into thinking the room is somewhere it isn’t by leaving signs in the wrong area, especially their Temperature. Additionally, finding Fingerprints of a Wraith is often very difficult, as they usually ignore doors and don’t interact with them. You are usually more likely to find Wraith fingerprints on light switches and windows. You can even get Spirit Box in the wrong room if the Ghost isn’t near you, and can theoretically get all of their evidence outside of their room if you are lucky enough.
Adding everything together: a Wraith ignores walls and can start a hunt from anywhere, including after teleporting to players; a Wraith can’t see doors (including closet and locker doors) when hunting and will likely find the player quickly; they unintentionally make their room harder to find, thus making it difficult to gather all three pieces of evidence but always easy to find one; and Salt might save you, but it will make your lives more difficult overall. Wraiths always make me struggle with the whole process, and they’re incredibly dangerous because of it.
The Sanity Drainers
Still gruesome threats, the sanity drainers all drain your sanity in one way or another and thus are more dangerous to deal with on higher difficulties. These ghosts will often be a huge threat no matter the difficulty, and these ones may even be the most dangerous on Amateur as they can get your sanity down into lethal levels (however Revenants and Banshees are still huge problems).
The Yurei – 7/10
Simple and clean of the group, the Yurei has no one specific way of draining Sanity, which makes it ultimately very dangerous, as it simply drains sanity by being near the player. It doesn’t necessarily need to manifest, or do anything; a Yurei will simply drain your sanity at a faster rate by existing. Combine this with sanity drain in the dark, and you have a ghost that can very quickly get your sanity down to lethal levels, even in groups.
Multiple times, I have gone back to the truck and realized that I am very low on sanity for no real reason. Every time this has happened, the ghost has been a Yurei or a Jinn. Usually, however, a Yurei will have a larger effect on the group, whereas Jinns will have drained specific people (though a Jinn’s power does not necessarily only affect one; more on that later). If you notice consistent, lower-than-usual Sanity levels across the team, a Yurei may be to blame.
There are two counters to a Yurei, which depend on the stage of the game. If you are still early, keep your sanity up to the absolute best of your ability and stay in the light; this will minimize a Yurei’s effects. However, in the event that a Yurei is hunting, the best way to deal with it is the Smudge Sticks, as they will cause it to stop following the player for a long time. Smudge Sticks are more effective on the Yurei than any other ghost, so keep them on hand if your sanity is low.
The Jinn – 7/10
The final ghost of the top half of the danger board, Jinns will mess you up if you aren’t prepared to deal with them. In addition to the evidence, you can identify a Jinn by the fact that it will not cut the power and constant flickering of lights (note that the circuit can still be overloaded as far as I know). A Jinn has the power to flicker every light in a large radius (potentially the whole house; need more testing). When it does so, it can cause massive sanity drains (I’ve personally seen around 15% from a single event).
A Jinn’s supposed weakness is to turn off the power box in the house, which will make it hunt slowly. A power box, though, keeps your sanity up by giving you light. Except a Jinn drains your sanity by messing with the light. It’s a tricky situation with the Jinn, as there is no real way to completely stop it from killing your sanity. The Jinn presents the player with a dilemma: If you keep the power on, the Jinn will drain your sanity and be faster when it chooses to hunt. If you keep the power off, the lack of light will drain your sanity, but at least it will hunt slowly.
With a Jinn, I recommend candles so it can’t affect their light, and keeping the power off. However you will want to keep an eye on your sanity, as candle light does not completely stop the darkness from sapping you. Ultimately your Sanity will be up to you to keep watch of. (Or perhaps your teammate who hides in the truck!) A Jinn will eventually get your sanity to lethal levels, so if it comes down to a guess between two or three possibilities, I recommend guessing Jinn, especially if the evidence you are missing is EMF Level 5. With how random the EMF Reader is, it’s dangerous to keep trying to push a Jinn out of the nest.
The Poltergeist – 6/10
Poltergeists are spooky. But if you can peel off the exterior ghost that likes to throw things and mess with doors, then a Poltergeist can actually be one of the easiest ghosts to deal with… If you can find it quickly. If you can hear it, but can’t see it, an object thrown by a Poltergeist will drain your sanity. This is especially dangerous on larger maps such as Asylum. While usually not hard to find, a Poltergeist that is left untended can drain your sanity very quickly as it throws things around.
Finding a Poltergeist is simple. Ringing phones, opening and closing doors, walking into a room that has stuff already thrown around; these are all signs of a Poltergeist. Additionally, if someone notices your sanity dropping while you are hearing things, a Poltergeist is a likely suspect. If a Poltergeist inhabits a room that is nearly empty, it will often be very hard to find. The lack of Freezing Temperatures will make this even more difficult, and personally, I think the easiest way to find a Poltergeist is with the UV Flashlight.
The good news is, once the Poltergeist is found, you have trivialized the matter. Like most standard ghosts, a found Poltergeist has zero power with no objects to throw (take them out of the room!) and cannot drain your sanity any further. At this point, it becomes a very standard ghost hunt with a Poltergeist, and the only reason the Poltergeist gets such a high ranking is because getting to the Poltergeist in the first place can be rough if you’re not quick.
The Phantom – 5/10
A Phantom is a strange ghost, but is nevertheless easy to deal with. Phantoms drain sanity by appearing; this is both a good thing and a bad thing, as they like to appear. Can you say photo opportunity? Phantoms are also easy to get evidence out of. Freezing Temperatures give away a Phantom’s location very quickly, and Ghost Orbs are usually pretty reliable once you’ve found the room. EMF Level 5 is what you’ll end up sitting around for when trying to get a Phantom, but if it drains your sanity after an appearance, you know what it is for certain.
Phantom can apparently take the form of a teammate as a power. If this is still in the game, which I have never experienced, this is probably the Phantom’s most interesting ability, as it can drain your sanity while pretending to be your friends.
If this isn’t in the game, the Phantom’s most interesting quirk is that taking a picture of it will make it disappear. This doesn’t work if it’s already hunting, but it makes Phantoms simple; you want photos of the ghost, so take photos when it appears and it will go away. If you don’t want it to appear, staying away from it will fix that, so you can use smart setup and video footage to try to get all of the evidence remotely. Phantoms aren’t hard to deal with, they just require smart play and not letting it eat your sanity when it appears.
All Spooks, No Danger
This final category goes to ghosts that, as far as I know, have no special abilities to harm the player, and instead rely on scares or other strategies to harm the players. They do not affect the player’s sanity other than through normal ghost activities, at least not their in-game sanity; but their activity or lack there-of can be occasionally jaunting and, in the wrong situation or with lack of care, can still be dangerous just like any other ghost.
The Oni – 3/10
There is one single reason the Oni is at the top of this section, and that is because the Oni is the only ghost to make me scream. And it has done it twice. Despite this, I have never been killed by an Oni, as Oni have no sanity affecting abilities and, despite their activity, do not hunt more often than other ghosts. Additionally, Oni are very likely to give evidence very quickly, and I usually know within the first five minutes if it is an Oni.
The wiki states that Oni are more likely to hunt when players are in groups, however I have never had this be the case. However, Oni ARE more active in groups, and in my experience, like to target players to scare. An Oni will repeatedly appear and come after one player in an attempt to scare them out. Oni get an honorable mention about potential sanity drain here, as their constant targeting of one player can cause that player’s sanity to drop after witnessing repeated events.
That said, Oni are not overall more dangerous than any one specific ghost, and Revenants, Demons and Wraiths are all highly active, but have additional dangers they face the player with, such as high hunting frequency or additional hunting abilities. While an Oni can theoretically be dangerous, it ranks low on this list because it simply doesn’t present MORE danger than other ghosts.
The Shade – 3/10
The Shade is the opposite of the Oni in every way; it is low activity, even lower activity in groups, and overall a quiet ghost that shouldn’t pose too much of a threat. However, to get your evidence and your objectives done, you will likely need to be alone. This is where both the strength and the weakness of the Shade lies.
Shades being shy means that they will likely not show much activity if players are together, and the only way to get around this without splitting up is to get it to hunt. That said, a Shade is not faster than the players, and on larger maps, getting it to hunt for a picture and then leaving is a valid strategy if you’d rather use hunts than the inconsistency of Shades themselves. For other objectives, you absolutely need to be alone.
Shades are only dangerous because their shyness will cause you to take longer to complete your objectives, giving it time to drop your sanity slowly; good sanity management and good player baiting will force the Shade out and make the encounter rather trivial.
The Spirit – 2/10
There’s not much you can say about the Spirit. The journal wraps up Spirits very nicely; they are bog standard ghosts that will often define their own personality. As the blank slate ghost, it is up to you to find the evidence, as the evidence will be the only defining trait you have to put a name to this ghost.
That said, Spirit Box and Ghost Writing are usually pretty easy to get if it truly is a Spirit; Fingerprints will usually, but not always, be the hardest one to find. Sometimes Spirits are shy on the Spirit Box, or you may not have the right location; be very careful, however, as if your Spirit is being shy on the box and has the other two pieces, it is likely a Revenant instead.
Spirits get a point for being so widely varied, but at the end of the day I never feel worried when the ghost is a Spirit. They don’t pose any additional threats, so when I have to deal with a Spirit, I feel much more relaxed than I would against most other ghosts in this game.
The Mare – 1/10
On most maps, the Mare is the easiest ghost to deal with once identified, as staying in the light will literally keep you alive. A Mare can not initiate a hunt in the light unless the players are at an incredibly low amount of sanity, in which case you should no longer be in the house anyways. Additionally, they have defining characteristics such as never turning lights back on, making them easy to pick out if you’re unable to see those Ghost Orbs (I get it, I do).
Be careful not to mistake a Mare for a Demon; Demons will usually give all three pieces of evidence very quickly, whereas a Mare is a little more shy. That said, an active Mare will not hesitate to appear often, and it will turn the lights off every time it does so. Mares can troll the player by being hyperactive, but as long as they are diligent about the lights, they will never be in danger. If you’re unsure, leave the lights off for a bit; if they don’t come back on, the Mare is there.
While a Mare is initially more dangerous on a map such as Asylum, Mares do not drain sanity quicker than other ghosts, meaning good light management and remembering where your fuse boxes are will once again trivialize the Mare. (In multiplayer, having a player camp the fuse box is generally a good idea.) Candles do work against the Mare as well, so it is a good idea to bring them to hotspots. Finally, on larger maps, a Mare can simply be outrun if it finds you, so long as you are not cornered. Play safe and stay in the light, and a Mare is simply not a threat; if you want activity, give it five minutes in the darkness. It will show itself.
Guide too long? Still got six ghosts that you’re deciding between? No problem! Here’s the short and sweet version, with only one sentence for each ghost:
- The Revenant – 9/10 – Fast and furious, your only option is to hide when it hunts.
- The Demon – 9/10 – Most aggressive ghost in the game, hunts more than any other.
- The Banshee – 8/10 – Will always target one specific player, so pray you aren’t that player.
- The Wraith – 8/10 – It can walk through walls, disappear, and fly.
- The Yurei – 7/10 – Constant sanity drain is a huge issue, keep an eye on that sanity.
- The Jinn – 7/10 – Counter it by turning the power off and using candles.
- The Poltergeist – 6/10 – Noisy and therefore easy to find, but the stuff it throws hurts your sanity.
- The Phantom – 5/10 – Take a picture of it and your problems will go away.
- The Oni – 3/10 – Hyperactive and super scary, but not actually that dangerous.
- The Shade – 3/10 – Inactive and kinda spooky, prepare for a long game.
- The Spirit – 2/10 – The blank slate of ghosts, they’re usually pretty easy.
- The Mare – 1/10 – Literally just act like you’re afraid of the dark.